Happy new year once again to everyone. We can’t get enough of the wishes, can we? The world needs more goodwill especially as we continue recovering from the pandemic blues of over 2 years.
Last December Dr Tity Agbata supported us with 100k to ensure that our ink flows through the yuletide in a Crossover Contest. Dr Tity’s mum is the proprietress of Pine Crest School Awka. The former commissioner and experienced educationist is committed to keeping the indigent child in school through an initiative launched in 2022. I urge you to support this noble cause by clicking here. You can also inform people in and around Awka about this standard school located at the centre of the Anambra state capital metropolis.
We moved from writing weekly to every fortnight and now we are doing periodic contests. In this challenge we tried poetry for the first time and having forayed into that genre in the past I feel encouraged to write more poems after reading some of the entries here. The stories will get 20k and the poems 10k.
Here are the winners in no particular order:
- Suffering And Smiling Mentality In Nigeria by Chukwuemeka Oluka:
‘How much dem pay you sef for this suffer head wey you dey give yourself?’
A rich feature story told from three perspectives about what has become the norm in the most populous black nation on earth. In this treatise, Oluka’s brilliance in locating issues that affect Nigeria within the public and presenting them in the local parlance was accentuated by his creative expressions. Well done Oluka, keep writing.
- The Bad Waiter — player’s proof by Emmanuel Enaku: This story will have you admiring the writer’s confidence. Laced with witty dialogue lines like “clean, succulent lips, charming face, fat curvy hips, tantalising waistline, sensuous legs, voluptuous breasts, sensitive arms” reminded me of Nick Carter. Good job Emmanuel, you did this one with bold and boisterous descriptions.
- A Christmas Breakfast by Becky Peleowo: “Dealing with morning sickness must have been Eve’s first punishment after eating from the tree of life”. Catchlines will never be dated in writing and Becky’s remarkable ability with expressions is always there for the reader to appreciate. Nice one Becky, we love reading from you.
- The Trophy Wife by Oluwaseun Osanyinro: Presented in a simple and understandable manner Oluwaseun dishes out narrative paragraphs with ease and the originality she brings to her writing is undeniable. The Trophy Wife is yet another addition to her list of winning entries. Congrats Oluwaseun. Write more.
- The Reason For The Season: A Poem by Solomon Ekoja: Koinonia. We learn every day and this was my takeaway from this poem of wonderfully linked verses. Ekoja displayed his versatility in this contest and deserves accolades.
- A Burning Heart: A Poem by Victor Oladejo: Congrats Victor this was a very good attempt. I was particularly pleased with the following lines;
You promised the trees that bore me that you will never leave me,
they asked for a sign,
You showed them the orb burning in your heart.
I wore you like a prize and danced for the world to see…..
The other entries were equally good and Ekoja’s essay on The Socio-Economic Implications Of The Japa Trend In Nigeria was well-researched and presented. Committee Of Friends Palaver by Chukwuemeka Oluka is a good one too. I must say that I was particularly wowed by Triumph Of A Virgin: A Poem by Becky Opeolowo. I think it’s an excellent piece. Becky must be a poet.
Feedback: On a general note I noticed that almost all the entries for the Christmas breakfast theme came served through the mail and if I remember correctly via an envelope. I think we can be more imaginative. What about a phone call, email, or SMS? It is also a story which could have been told from different points of view. It could be a friend, colleague or better still a stranger.
Here is a brief article for aspiring poets to start their journey. I also sent some feedback via email to the writers. I encourage everyone to keep writing. Send in your works and we will publish them. Don’t be limited to contests because you will only end up frustrated if winning is your motivation as a writer, what’s more, I am also discouraged when I see that the only time you send in entries for publication is when there is a price to be won.
Lastly, I have repeatedly shared resources and asked writers to improve on editing. Works which do not meet our editorial standards will be trashed. Check here for resources that will help you.
Thanks to everyone that has contributed to this journey. In the meantime, watch out for our #ValentineChallenge coming soon.